Right Turn During Prohibited Time

leo_044
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Right Turn During Prohibited Time

Unread post by leo_044 »

Hey Everyone,

I decided to join the forum after seeing all the great advice and support given to everyone. I'd thought I'd give it a try.

I was pulled over yesterday and received a ticket for "Disobey Sign" after turning right in a right turning lane at a red light with a fine of $110 and 2 demerit points. The sign said no turning right on a red light between 8am-6pm on Monday to Friday. This happened in Guelph at the Gordon at College intersection where apparently many people are ticketed. I have no prior convictions (other than a $20 parking ticket).

What essentially happened was that I was driving up Gordon and decided to turn right onto College to avoid upcoming traffic. I stopped at the line, waited for an opening, checked for pedestrians and then turned. At this time, there was no cop behind me in the lane or one coming down College. After I turned, about 80-100m down, I saw a cop car behind me and they didn't have their lights on. After about 3-5 seconds, their lights went on and I pulled over. The cop told me that I turned during the prohibited time and asked for my license, ownership and insurance. After I gave it to them and they walked away, I finally checked my clock and saw that it was 8:04am. After about 15 minutes, they came back and told me that they had to charge me and seemed really apologetic (which didn't really make me happy) as they said they gave me the "lesser charge."

My question is that is it worth taking this to court? I know I probably took the turn at 8am or one to two minutes after it. I would like to avoid a conviction or be charged with a bylaw, a conviction that wouldn't jack up my insurance by 5% (for the next 3 years). My issue is that I don't have a solid defense and am concerned I'm wasting time and money (as I'm moving to Toronto in September). My only defenses are:

- the weather was foggy (the initial reason I thought the cop pulled me over as I didn't have my tail lights on)
- I didn't see the sign (however, I knew there was a sign on the other side of the street that said something about no right turns during a time period)
- I honestly thought the sign only applied during university (September to April) when all the students are around
- I'm a broke ass student

I would like to take it to trial as there really is nothing to lose (you either end up with what you originally received or something lesser) but don't want to make a "fool" out of myself. If anyone has any advice at all, I'd really appreciate it. I don't want to rush to make up my mind as I do have 15 days and I have been panicking about it.


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highwaystar
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Re: Right Turn During Prohibited Time

Unread post by highwaystar »

Take it to trial. Insist it wasn't 8am yet by your watch.

The officer likely will not make notes about how he tested his clock or watch and when it was last calibrated. So, you can raise doubt that the actual time was actually 7:57am (for example) and therefore you didn't commit the act. A thorough cross-examination on the validity of the officer's time versus your time will likely raise doubt. That is of course, unless the officer really DID go to extensive actions to validate that their timepiece was in fact calibrated, properly working and consistent with the valid legal time used in Ontario.

In cases where 1 or 2 minutes makes the difference, I think most prosecutors will consider withdrawing the charge, especially where you have no other convictions. A reasonable doubt can usually be easily raised in such cases.


jsherk
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Re: Right Turn During Prohibited Time

Unread post by jsherk »

I would choose the NOT GUILTY option for a Trial with the Officer Present. Once you get your Notice of Trial you can ask for disclosure (copy of officers notes). Once you get the notes, you can then decide what defenses you might be able to use to fight it.

Can you post a scan of the ticket (with your personal information blanked out)?
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


leo_044
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Re: Right Turn During Prohibited Time

Unread post by leo_044 »

jsherk wrote:I would choose the NOT GUILTY option for a Trial with the Officer Present. Once you get your Notice of Trial you can ask for disclosure (copy of officers notes). Once you get the notes, you can then decide what defenses you might be able to use to fight it.

Can you post a scan of the ticket (with your personal information blanked out)?
Hey jsherk,

I unfortunately don't have scanner with me but if you let me know what you'd like to know on it, I can type it out for you. Most of the stuff on the ticket is personal information and all the spots are filled in correctly (I think I did more research on this ticket than I've done my entire university career), unfortunately.


jsherk
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Re: Right Turn During Prohibited Time

Unread post by jsherk »

Was just going to review it for fatal error, but if you already checked it out then nothing I need to know.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


DCamM
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Re: Right Turn During Prohibited Time

Unread post by DCamM »

Just lay little strips of paper across the personal info and take a picture with your phone. Shouldn't need a scanner.
***I am not a lawyer, I have no legal qualifications and my opinions could well be wrong***.


argyll
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Re: Right Turn During Prohibited Time

Unread post by argyll »

"Take it to trial. Insist it wasn't 8am yet by your watch."

Highwaystar, I'm not sure this site is about advising people to purger themselves. The OP said he believed it was 8 or after.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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highwaystar
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Re: Right Turn During Prohibited Time

Unread post by highwaystar »

argyll wrote:"Take it to trial. Insist it wasn't 8am yet by your watch."

Highwaystar, I'm not sure this site is about advising people to purger themselves. The OP said he believed it was 8 or after.
Thanks for mentioning this Argyll. I can see how my comments could lead one to think I'm suggesting they commit perjury. That was never my intent. I certainly don't condone any perjury.

Instead, I should have been more clear that its not for the defendant to disprove the time, but rather the prosecution needs to prove it was at least 8am. So, even though Op might think or know it was past 8am (according to his watch), there is absolutely nothing illegal about him challenging the officer under cross-examination about the accuracy of the time the officer stated. I would start by asking the officer what time it currently is, then ask the JP to take note of their own time, then ask the court clerk to state what time it is, then refer to any clock within the court. It is almost guaranteed that not all of those 4 times will be properly synced? Which is to be accepted then? (by the way, in a court settings; its the clerk's time.)

The bottom line is that if Op knows the time was past 8am he should not take the stand so that he doesn't perjure himself.

However, if he is self-representing himself, he certainly CAN raise reasonable doubt regarding the time accuracy. That's not the same if he is represented by a lawyer or paralegal since they are restricted as per their rules of professional conduct to not mislead or attempt to mislead a court about facts they know to be true otherwise. If Op is not a lawyer or paralegal, then he isn't subject to the same professional conduct rules and isn't committing perjury since he never testifies. Seems shady (I know) but perfectly allowed.






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